Police told to leave stations
Beijing has ordered its national police to leave their desks and get out among ordinary people in a bid to help crime-threatened communities so far left to their own devices, the Xinhua news agency reported yesterday. A "massive" redeployment of the 490,000-strong force will see police set up stations in remote rural areas where no law enforcers have been present before now, Xinhua said. The campaign will also ensure a greater, more visible police presence in urban communities, the agency said. The drive will not entail any recruitment of new officers but will mean the reassignment of desk-bound officers to new posts where they can be more easily reached by citizens.
Robot cook launched
A company in Shenzhen has developed the nation's first cooking robot, equipping it with the skills to cook thousands of traditional dishes, state media said yesterday. The robot, developed by Fanxing Science and Technology Co, knows how to "fry, bake, boil and steam, and can perform other special Chinese cooking actions," Xinhua reported. The robot will hit the market next year, targeting mainly restaurants, while a family-friendly version will go on sale later.
Zoos told to stop breeding
The Supreme Court has ordered zoos to stop breeding animals after activists said the facilities were overcrowded. The court issued the order late on Monday in response to a petition by the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which said most zoos were ill-equipped to handle the number of animals they housed.
Man gets BA at 91
A 91-year-old man has received a law degree from an Australian university, finishing the six-year course more than a year ahead of schedule because he said "time is of the essence." Allan Stewart was granted a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New England in eastern Australia on Saturday. The course normally runs for six years, but Stewart finished in just 4.5 "I think if I had let it run too much longer I might not have finished it," he said, adding that learning how to use the Internet was the biggest challenge in completing the degree.
Bull crashes market
The bull may have missed the china shop but it did swing by New Delhi's city center, two markets, a movie theater, a Sikh temple and the YWCA during a seven-hour rampage that left six people lightly wounded on Sunday. The ordeal started when overeager security personnel tried to shoo the bull from a route to be used for VIP traffic, angering the animal. The bull ran down roads, charging groups of people and scattering crowds in a frenzy that took it through some of the city's busiest streets, markets and the entrance area to the Regal Cinema.
Al-Qaeda broadcaster held
German police arrested an Iraqi man yesterday who they suspect aided al-Qaeda by posting messages from Osama bin Laden and other leaders of militant Islamist groups on the Internet, the prosecutor's office said. Authorities believe the 36-year-old suspect, identified only as Ibrahim R., broadcast numerous audio and video messages on the Web from al-Qaeda chief bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and the late leader of al Qaeda in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The man was arrested at his home near the northwestern town of Osnabrueck. This was the latest in a series of arrests of suspected al-Qaeda members and supporters in Germany.